In the state of Pennsylvania there are plenty of historical as well as beautiful places to visit. The list of excellent eateries, museums, historical sites, as well as bodies of water and more are extensive. If while traveling through Pennsylvania travelers find themselves in the small town of Linesville, in Crawford County, they will have an assortment of places to visit. There is the Pymatuning Lake and the Linesville Spillway; commonly referred to as “the Place Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish.” they might want to see if they could visit one of the most haunted hotels in the area, the Knickerbocker Hotel. The hotel has been around for more than 130 years. For the majority of those years there has been plenty of talk regarding paranormal and ghostly activity in the three story brick building.
History of Knickerbocker Hotel
Back in 1882, Milo A. Arnold built the Knickerbocker Hotel in Linesville, Pennsylvania. Milo and his wife, Clara, originally named the building Arnold House. The Arnold House served as not only a home for Milo, Clara and their children but it also served as a thriving business. According to historical reports, Milo and Clara ran the business doing the majority of work with minimal help from other people.
To celebrate the opening of the Arnold House, Milo and Clara threw an elaborate gala ball. The Arnold house would serve as not only a residence for the Arnold family, but it was a restaurant, lounge for entertaining, as well as providing lodging for those passing through town or simply people in need of a place to stay. In total, it is said that the three story brick building had 20 different rooms in total.
The Arnold House had a tremendous amount of success on the business side of things. When it came to the lives of the Arnold family they were met with a number of tragedies. It is said that one of the Arnold’s children passed away and was buried in a cemetery not far from the Arnold House. Sadly, just three years after the opening of the Arnold House, Clara Arnold became rather ill with consumption. Today tuberculosis is the more well-known name for Clara’s illness. Milo did everything in his power to find someone to cure his beloved wife but nothing worked. After informing those around her that she was “just going to sleep,” Clara Arnold passed away in the comfort of her own bed. Milo Arnold went on to remarry and have more children following the death of his beloved Clara.
The Arnold House would end up changing owners and names a number of times. After being known as the Arnold House, it went on to be called the Arlington Hotel. Despite changing hands numerous times, the building remained a popular hotel for people to stay in when passing through Linesville. It was not until about 1972 that the new owners no longer used it as a hotel as they moved their family in and it served as just a family residence. Years later the current owners, Peg and Myrle Knickerbocker decided to purchase the property. When they took over and officially reopened the building in 2005, it became the Knickerbocker Hotel.
Unlike past owners of the Knickerbocker Hotel, Peg and Myrle decided that they were no longer going to use the building as an actual hotel. They made the decision that they wanted to preserve the condition and history of the building. They also wanted to honor the many different ghosts that supposedly call the Knickerbocker Hotel. With that being said, the proprietors do allow people to rent space in the Hotel for a wide array of private parties, such as birthday parties, book clubs, baby showers and also different types of meetings.
The Knickerbockers also allow paranormal groups to come to the Knickerbocker Hotel to perform their own investigations. Peg has stated that they do not just let anyone come into the hotel to perform investigations. They only allow legitimate paranormal investigation teams who will respect the spirits in the structure as well as the structure itself. With countless ghost hunters coming to the Knickerbocker Hotel there is no denying that it is among one of most haunted places in Pennsylvania.
Hauntings of Knickerbocker Hotel
When it comes to the many investigations conducted at the Knickerbocker Hotel, there are some commonalities with regards to activity. Many of the ghost hunters that have visited the building, as well as people who have been guests when it was a hotel, have stated Clara Arnold remains in the building. Although some of those claims include Clara’s ghost others simply claim there is a strong female presence in the Hotel. In addition to Clara, there are those that state the child that Milo and Clara lost is also wandering around the Knickerbocker Hotel.
Proof of the child’s presence comes in the form of a small child giggling when there were only adults present. There have also been recordings of a child crying. The voice of a small child asking for their “mommy” has also been captured on audio and video recordings. One of the rooms named the child’s room has a lot of activity. A young child will answer questions directed at him or her by the investigating team. Sudden cold spots have also occurred in rooms designated as rooms for the children.
Clara and her child are not the only ghosts that remain in the hotel. During an investigation by one paranormal group, a member picked up a conversation between two men while sitting in the hallway on the third floor. The conversation was not exceptionally loud but the investigator was able to determine it was two different male voices.
Peg, the owner, has stated that when people are in one of the rooms designated as dining rooms activity occurs. During one investigation, a ghost hunter sat at the table and stated they were ready for their food, a voice was recording saying “eat,” and no other team members were near the room. Other phenomenon that has occurred in the dining rooms involves people asking for their food. In one case, mere seconds after this request was made people in the room were able to smell chicken and biscuits along with other food items. When another member came to the room, without any prompting, they too, said they could smell the same foods.
The owners of the Knickerbocker Hotel claim that a great deal of the paranormal activity began when they started to restore the building. There have been accounts of people hearing footsteps coming up and down the stairs as well as in the floors above. People have seen things move on their own and doors slamming shut. There have been claims that during the middle of the day, a small child’s ghost was seen near one of the bathrooms. Other investigators and guests have said they have sensed or heard the presence of a small child down in the basement.
When the Knickerbockers hosted a grand opening, they reenacted the grand opening that took place in 1882. Peg Knickerbocker was a chef and server, her husband played music on the piano similar to that played in the 1880s. The Knickerbockers had a friend, Mark Painter, dress up as Milo Arnold. During the evening the imitation Milo gave a speech. Behind him an oddity appeared which appeared to be wave-like in nature. This oddity moved across the room. The next thing that appeared was the ghost of what appeared to be the real Milo Arnold. As quickly as he appeared from the wall, he vanished. Oddly enough, the same ghostly figure of Milo also peeked at the hotel staff.
Kids and adults are not the only ghosts that appear to have taken up residence at the Knickerbocker Hotel. There are people who have seen the ghost of a cat on the second floor. There is even a photo, from the aptly named the “Cat Room,” which clearly shows the ghost cat sitting on one of the chairs in the room. People have also heard the sounds of the ghost cat on the second floor. The stairs of the Knickerbocker Hotel are also not free from ghostly activity. In both the hallway of the third floor and the stairs witnesses have made claims of a shadow figure moving around.
In some of the investigations people have requested that whatever ghost is present to touch them. According to some stories, some ghosts have obliged. There are those that have said they have felt what can only be described as “cold fingers” touching them. Other people have said they were not only touched by they were forcibly pushed when they were walking on the stairway. Other paranormal activity recorded includes a chair that rocks back and forth while a black mist appears to hover above. With so many paranormal investigators coming to the Knickerbocker and other evidence supplied by former guests and staff members it is incredibly clear that this is one incredibly haunted hotel.